Saraki, Dogara Visit Buhari Abroad

President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki; Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara; and some principal officers of the National Assembly are currently in the United Kingdom to visit President Muhammadu Buhari, who is on medical leave.

The National Assembly leaders left Nigeria for London today, it was learnt.

Details later.

The Punch

Pro-Buhari Rally Hold In Kano

Thousands of people, including women and youths, on Wednesday in Kano held a rally, organised by group, “I STAND WITH BUHARI’’, in support of President Muhammadu Buhari.

The supporters, who converged on the Shoprite at Zoo Road in Kano metropolis, trekked to the Government House through Maiduguri Road and Emirs Palace through the State Road.

The supporters chanted solidarity songs, ‘Sai Buhari’ meaning up Buhari.”

They also carried placards with various inscriptions some of which read: “100 per cent support to EFCC, “We support Buhari’’, ‘’One Nigeria, and We stand with Buhari’’ among others.

Addressing journalists at the Emir’s Palace, the Northern Media Coordinator for the group, Mr. Ibrahim Garba-iceman, said the rally was organised to show solidarity to Buhari for doing good work for the country.

He said that the group was particularly appreciative of the Buahri-led administration’s fight against corruption and insecurity in the country.

He said, “The decision by our group, I STAND WITH BUHARI, to organise the mega rally is to express our support for what Buhari is doing for the country.

“This rally is coming on the heels of the recent revelations on the recovery of billions of dollars and naira by the EFCC.

“It is very unfortunate that by the recent revelations, very few Nigerians are controlling our economy.”

According to him, the group also find it necessary to come en masse and show to the world that Nigerians are solidly behind President Muhammadu Buhari.

He said, “We are not going back until good governance prevails in the country. We will also support Buhari come 2019.”

Garba-iceman said the group would hold similar rally in Kaduna, Port Harcourt, Abuja and Lagos.

He also said that the group hold a special prayer for speedy recovery of Buhari and his return to the country.

The rally was characterized by tight security with armed policemen providing guarding the group in all the places the supporters went.

Credit: Todays News

350 Imams Pray for Buhari

Three hundred and fifty Imams led Thousands of Muslims in prayers across Borno State Friday to offer special prayers for the full recovery of President Muhammadu Buhari, who is currently vacationing in the UK.
The special prayers at the Jummat service were at the instance of the Chief Imam of the state ,Alhaji Liasu Ahmed following a letter from Governor Kashim Shettima.

The 350 mosques are those allowed by the security challenge in the state to function from the 542 Jumma’at mosques in the state. Ahmed reportedly mobilised his colleagues after receiving the governor’s letter. William Naga, chairman of the Christians Association of Nigeria (CAN) in Borno, received a similar letter entitled, ‘Request for Intensification of prayers for the complete recovery of Mr President’.

The governor in the letter requested the Chief Imam and the CAN to “kindly request Imams of all Jumma’at mosques and leading pastors in all churches across Borno state to lead Muslim and Christian worshipers today (Friday) and coming Sunday, to intensify prayers for the quick and full recovery of our dear President, Muhammadu Buhari.

“We believe any good Nigerian living in Borno is already praying for the president, this is why we requested for the prayers to be intensified.” It was signed by Religious Affairs Commissioner Mustapha Fannarambe.

Fannarambe, in a separate statement said: “The prayers started today (yesterday) with Jumma’at mosques and we have monitored some here in Maiduguri and Jere and I was informed there were similar prayers in other Jumma’at mosques in Biu, Bayo, Shani, Kwaya-Kusar were residents were never internally displaced and places like Gwoza, Konduga, Monguno, Damboa, Dikwa, Askira, Kaga and many other parts of the state,” Fannarambe said in a statement.

“Prayers were offered in IDP camps where Jumma’at services take place because all the camps have citizens that include existing Imams of Jumma’at Mosques in different parts of the state affected by the insurgency. “From our estimation, not less than 350 Jumma’at Mosques are currently functional out of 542 that we have across the state.

“I actually attended one of the Friday prayers in Maiduguri while Governor Shettima went to Bama with the visiting minister of environment.”

The Nation

Adamawa Dedicates Friday,Saturday To Pray For Buhari

Governor Mohammed Jibrilla of Adamawa- Yola State has announced that there will, today and Sunday, offer special prayers in mosques and churches for the speedy recovery of President Muhammudu Buhari.

Governor Jibrilla, who spoke at the end of the state weekly executive council, observed that all leaders requires prayers no matter his or her health status.

He said: “President Muhammudu Buhari needs the prayers of all Nigerians to enable him pilot the affairs of the country effectively. This, we have been doing even before he traveled for his vacation and we will not relent.

“As the Governor of Adamawa State, I deserve special prayers from my people to enable me accomplish the dreams of governing the state well.”

He reiterated the desire of the state government towards providing dividends of democracy to the people, pointing out that as the government closes up with its road network projects, attention will now be shifted to the health and education sectors.

Obasanjo: Buhari Death Wishers Wicked

Former Nigerian leader, Olusegun Obasanjo has described President Muhammadu Buhari death wishers “callous, treacherous, abnormal and wicked.”

A section of the social media and some fake websites made false claims that President Buhari died in London. Then they claimed he was in intensive care. Thereafter they claimed he tried to commit suicide. The fake stories emerged just hours after Buhari began his vacation in London on 19 January.

Buhari is expected back in office 6 February.

Obasanjo said the Nigerians behind the despicable acts ought to be praying for Buhari’s ”quick recovery” and return to Nigeria.

The ex-President made his position known on Friday in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, through his media aide, Kehinde Akinyemi.

”Instead of embarking on such worrisome declaration, all that the President needed “are our prayers and best wishes, which will ginger his morale to come back more stronger and better.

“No normal human being will wish an elderly person dead irrespective of their differences.

“If you don’t like him, wait for another election, not going about to say he is dead.

“No matter his health situation, we should pray for him to recover quick and come back more stronger and better. For anyone wishing him dead, such person or group of persons are callous, wicked and treacherous.

“I was also rumoured to have died almost 12 times. I don’t know what they derive from doing so, but they should seek for forgiveness.

VP Prof. Yemi Osinbajo Steps In As Acting President

Vice President Prof. Yemi Osinbajo steps in to be Acting President as President Muhammadu Buhari leaves for the United Kingdom today on a short leave, which is part of his annual vacation. He is expected to resume work on February 6, 2017.

During the vacation, the President will also undergo routine medical check-ups.

The President said “I’m traveling to the UK today on a short leave, part of my annual vacation. I’ll be back at work on February 6.”

“I have formally notified the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, in line with the Constitution. Vice President Professor Yemi Osinbajo will act as President while I’m away.”

In line with Section 145 (1) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), the President of the Senate, and Speaker, House of Representatives, have been duly communicated.

While away, the Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, will perform the functions of the Office of the President.

Fighting Corruption: We Will Respect Due Process- Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari has said that his administration’s determination to wrestle corruption to the ground remains unshaken.

The President, who gave the assurance in his New Year message to Nigerians, however, said that the fight against corruption would be guided by respect for the rule of law and due process.

He vowed that his administration would not spare anybody or organ of government in the ongoing crusade against corrupt practices.

“It is a collective undertaking and resolve that must be seen to its logical conclusion in spite of certain distractions.

“The fate of our country lies partly in the success of this campaign.

“It will be unthinkable on my part to allow the boat of this crucial campaign promise capsize mid-stream,’’ he added.

On the economy, President Buhari said his administration had focused its energies to turn around the economy, create jobs, fight corruption, and transform agriculture to replace oil and gas as a major revenue earner for the nation.

“I am encouraged that we are getting things right.’’

According to him, agricultural revolution has begun and farmers in different parts of the country are experiencing bumper harvests while states are getting into strategic partnership towards attaining self-sufficiency in rice.

He said that “the era of over-dependence on oil for foreign exchange revenues was gradually waning.

““I am optimistic that the CHANGE we all yearned for in voting this administration to power in 2015 will manifest more and be sustained in different sectors, particularly agriculture, in 2017.’’

He noted that the nation’s economic recovery and growth plan in 2017 was anchored on optimizing the use of local content and empowering local businesses.

“”In pursuit of this administration’s philosophy, we will continue to appeal that we buy “Made In Nigeria” goods.

““Like I said during the 2017 Budget presentation to the National Assembly, farmers, small and medium-sized manufacturers, agro-allied businesses, dressmakers, entertainers and technology start-ups, will remain the true drivers of our economic future.

“”They are the engine of our economic recovery and their needs underpin our Economic Recovery and Growth Plan,’’ he further maintained.

On job creation, the President stated that his administration would sustain existing programmes aimed at lifting a vast number of the youth out of poverty, while at the same time creating the opportunities for people to fend for themselves.

President Buhari thanked Nigerians for their support to his administration’s efforts to transform Nigeria.

““I assure you again that the current pains are temporary and will ease when the economic seeds in gestation begin to bloom to fruition” he said.

He urged them to continue to support the administration in its effort to transform Nigeria for the good of all.

NAN

Sambisa: PDP Hails Buhari, Says Goodluck Jonathan Laid Foundation for Victory

National Caretaker Committee of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has congratulated President Buhari, the Nigerian military and all Nigerians on the recapture of Boko Haram stronghold, Sambisa Forest, stating that the success resulted from the strong foundation laid by the past Goodluck Jonathan administration.

In a statement signed by its spokesman, Dayo Adeyeye, the party, noted that while cleaning out Sambisa is a critical milestone, it is not the end of the war against insurgency in the country and so, the military needs not rest on its oars.

The statement read “We congratulate Nigerians for this important milestone in the long and bitter struggle against the forces of evil that have wreaked (sic) so much suffering and hardship on our people in the last few years.

“We also congratulate the President for his dogged pursuit of the war against the insurgency. We are happy that he has built on the efforts of his predecessors. Whatever we are witnessing now is as a result of all the efforts and sacrifices of the past and present.

“Nigerians and the international community will recall that the war effort received a major boost in the weeks leading up to the 2015 general elections. The insurgents were virtually annihilated – a feat that made it possible for elections to hold peacefully in almost all the Local Government Areas of all the states in the North East last year. We are therefore very much delighted with the continuation of this great effort by the President.”

It continued: “We salute the men and women of our beloved armed forces. Their courage, determination and sacrifice made this achievement possible. The men and women of the Nigerian armed forces have served and continue to serve with distinction in many peacekeeping operations all over the world. We salute them for fighting with great courage to keep the peace in their own Country.

“We also thank the international community for their support and encouragement particularly, those countries that have helped in the procurement of critical military hardware.

“Beyond Sambisa all the other forests which criminals used as hideouts and bases must equally be cleared by the military. Forests such as Birnin Gwari, Zamfara, Southern Kaduna, Enugu and Benue have become killing fields. They must all be cleared of criminal elements.” the statement added.

Buhari Offers to Dialogue with N’Delta Militants

President Muhammadu Buhari has called on militants vandalising oil installations in the Niger Delta to come to the negotiation table in order to end violence in the region.

Buhari said this would afford both the government and the militants the opportunity to decide how the nation’s resources could be better managed.

He said this during a Christmas visit at the presidential villa by residents of the Federal Capital Territory, led by the Minister, Muhammad Bello

There, the President also appealed to Nigerians to be patient with his government, noting that Nigeria and its citizens were uppermost in his mind, stating that he would continue to do all within his powers to improve their living conditions.

He said, “I want you to talk to people to be patient with the government. We are always thinking about our country and we are thinking about our people.

“I assure you that the country and the people of the country are always uppermost in our minds. With our performance in the North-East, Nigerians know that this government is serious.

“For our friends in the Niger Delta area, we will persuade them that they should please sit down with us and agree to manage our resources rather than think of fighting it out.”

The President promised that his administration would concentrate on infrastructure development, saying jobs would be created through the process.

Buhari added, “It is about 18 months since we resumed here. I believe some of you followed us during our campaigns and what we identified are still fundamental problems.

“The first is security, and we kept on saying whether it is an organisation or a country, we have to first secure it before we can manage it properly. Without security, nothing can work.

“Secondly, the economy and the unemployment of able-bodied persons. From 1999 to 2014, the crude production was over 2.2m barrels per day. The average cost per barrel was $100.

“When we came, it was $37. I think it is now between $40 and $50. I asked for savings, there was no saving. I asked them what they used the money to buy, they said they bought food and oil. I do not know how long it took me to recover from the shock.

“Some of you will recall either by history or discussion that it was cocoa, palm kernel, cotton, agro allied industry that we used to build infrastructure, be it rail or school.

“We also used the proceeds to develop oil. When we got the oil, we threw everything away. We thank God this year, the harvest was quite good; otherwise, I do not know what we would have done.

“There was no money saved, no infrastructure built, and power is still our main problem. Old roads are dilapidated and they need to be repaired from Lagos to Kano, Port Harcourt up to Maiduguri. There are rail lines we want to develop from Lagos to Calabar, from Lagos to Kaduna and the Abuja one.

“If we can get the infrastructure done, we cannot even know the number of Nigerians that will get jobs. So, we have to get infrastructure. It will take tankers and other articulated vehicles off the road; we will save vehicles and we will save lives and we will get jobs for a lot of Nigerians.”

Bello, in his opening remarks, commended Buhari for the success recorded by the nation’s troops that cleared Sambisa Forest of insurgents last week.

“We are very proud of this milestone and we prayed that Boko Haram never rears its head in any part of the country again,” the minister said.

IPOB Warns Against Buhari’s Visit to South East

People of Biafra, on Monday, warned President Muhammadu Buhari to ‘stay clear’ of the South-East.

The President is slated to attend the opening session of the South-East Economic Summit in Enugu on Thursday, but IPOB has issued threats, stating that the President should not be allowed to visit the geopolitical zone.

IPOB, in a statement entitled, ‘Muhammadu Buhari must stay clear of Biafra land or have himself to blame for the outcome of any such visit,’ told the President to cancel the planned visit.

The secessionist group, in the statement signed by its spokespersons, Emma Nmezu (a lawyer) and Dr. Clifford Iroanya, also warned Igbo governors and other political leaders against hosting Buhari in Enugu or any other part of the South-East.

IPOB warned that the Enugu State Governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, and other leaders should be held responsible for any breakdown of law and order in the state if Buhari went ahead to visit the Coal City on December 22.

The statement read in part, “The Indigenous People of Biafra have received information that Major General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd.) will be visiting Enugu on the 22nd of December, 2016. We object totally to this visit.

“We warn that any governor or Igbo politician that receives Buhari in Enugu will have himself or herself to blame. We make it public that should there be a breakdown of law and order in Enugu on the 22nd of December, greedy Igbo politicians will have themselves to blame.

“Any Igbo governor or politician that is found among those hobnobbing with Buhari becomes an enemy of the people and shall pay dearly for it.”

IPOB also demanded an investigation into the Amnesty International report, which accused the army of mass killing of Biafra activists.

The group urged all pro-Biafra activists to be in Enugu on December 22 to show their anger over Buhari’s visit.

“We are calling on all Biafrans to descend on Enugu on the said date of December 22, 2016 to show our anger and displeasure at this attempt by some greedy Igbo men to insult the memory of our glorious dead and those still in detention with our leader”.

There has been no official response from the state government or the police at time of this update.